Groomed is an intensely personal documentary in which the filmmaker chronicles her own journey to discover the truth about her childhood encounter with a predatory sexual abuser and to recover from the long lasting impact his abuse has had on her life as an adult. Gwen van de Pas, now living in San Francisco with a wonderfully understanding and supportive man, is beset by nightmares and panic attacks and sets out to investigate the cause of them.
She conducts interviews with psychologists, with other victims and with a convicted predator and she travels to her childhood home in Holland to revisit the scene of the abuse, to question her loving parents who’ve actually shunned discussion about what happened and to track down and confront her abuser — her school’s highly respected and trusted swim team coach who raped her on a regular/frequent schedule from the time she was 11 through her 13th year. Her story is harrowing, her determination to heal herself is heroic and she’s a very fine first-time filmmaker.
There is also an element of suspense. Will she find her predator? And if she does, what will she do? And will the predator be brought to justice? Continue reading on CINEMA CITIZEN.